World Water Day, celebrated annually on March 22, was established by the United Nations in 1992.
An international day to celebrate freshwater was recommended at the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED). The United Nations General Assembly responded by designating 22 March 1993 as the first World Water Day.
UN-Water is dedicating World Water Day 2010 to the theme of water quality “Clean water for a Healthy World “
Each year, World Water Day highlights a specific aspect of freshwater. Please note that a brief overview of the different themes that have been the focus of World Water Day celebrations.
2009: Transboundary Waters (Shared Water - Shared Opportunities)
2008: Sanitation (coincided with the International Year of Sanitation)
2007: Coping with Water Scarcity
2006: Water and Culture
2005: Water for Life
2004: Water and Disasters
2003: Water for Future
2002: Water for Development
2001: Water for Health
2000: Water for the Twenty-first Century
1999: Everyone Lives Downstream
1998: Ground Water – The invisible Resource
1997: The World’s Water, Is There Enough
1996: Water for Thirsty Cities
1995: Women & Water
1994: Caring for our Water Resources is Everyone’s Business
Worldwide water quality is declining mainly due to human activities. Increasing population growth, rapid urbanization, discharge of new pathogens and new chemicals from industries and invasive species are key factors that contribute to the deterioration of water quality.
Sufficient quality of water is critical to ensure a healthy environment and human health. The basic requirement per person per day is 20 to 40 liters of water free from harmful contaminants and pathogens for the purposes of drinking and sanitation, rising to 50 liters when bathing and kitchen needs are considered.